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Iraqi Christians

IRAQI CHRISTIANS:

Christianity was brought to Iraq in the first century by the Apostle Thomas, Iraq's Christian and Mandian communities are among the oldest in the world. The indigenous Christians adopted Christianity in the first century. In the early centuries after the Islamic conquest, Christians played an influential role in Iraq, however, from the late 13th century until the early 16th century, Christians suffered persecution and massacres.

Prior to the Gulf War in 1991, Christians numbered one million in Iraq. The Baathist rule under Saddam Hussein kept anti-Christian violence under control but subjected some to

"Relocation Programs". Under this regime, the predominantly Christians were pressured to identify as Arabs. The Christian population fell to an estimated 800,000 during the 2003 Iraq War.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, violence against Christians rose, with reports of abduction, torture, bombings, and killings. Some Christians were pressured to convert to Islam under threat of death / expulsion and women were ordered to wear Islamic dress. Half the population aprox. 330,000 have fled mainly to Syria, and some to Jordan.

Iraqi Christians